Sen. Blumenthal calls on more federal funding for local school districts

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Sen. Richard Blumenthal is calling on more federal funding for local school districts - something a Connecticut family hopes will help keeping their disabled child safe in school.

Danny Hernandez, 35, and his wife have three children. Their youngest, 5-year-old Jeremiah, was recently diagnosed with a developmental disorder.

"I cry because we feel like ever since we discovered him having autism, a lot of doors have been shut," says Hernandez.

Hernandez says his New Year's resolution is to begin opening some of those doors by telling his story. He shared it with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who is now advocating on the family's behalf.

Hernandez says that his son can be a handful, and is potentially a danger to himself or somebody else.

"He's even had moments where he choked his own brother and it's not, you know, in his eyes he thinks it's OK," he says.

The couple is asking the school district to provide a special needs teacher who would work with Jeremiah five days a week all day long, a so-called "one-on-one peer" -- instead of just 30 minutes a day, as is currently the case.

"All me and my wife want is for the school district to do the right thing so he can actually learn," he says.

Blumenthal says the problem is not the school district , which he says has been doing a good job with the resources it has - it's a total lack of sufficient funding from the federal government.

"I am fighting for more funds going to special needs students and local school districts that need that support," says Blumenthal.

Blumenthal is sponsoring a new law called "The Keep Our Promises To America's Students & Teacher's Act", which he says would require the federal government to follow through on its annual funding pledges, instead of coming through with an average 20% of them.

"This inspiring story ought to move the federal government to provide the resources it has promised," says Blumenthal.

Blumenthal is calling on local school districts to join him in calling for more federal funding.

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